If you’re reading this blog, thank you.
I am sitting here writing this piece because I had to face the truth about my writing.
I am not sharing my most vulnerable parts of myself, and my subconscious could no longer take it.
Refusing to write about the thoughts and topics that consume my life prevented me from writing; my own brain revolted against my heart.
Singleness consumes more of my thoughts than I would like to admit, and in a world of sickness, poverty, famine, abuse, and violence, I feel a lot of shame when I say that I am “struggling” with being single. But living in America as a professional woman, I am forced to think about it more than I would like, so today, you all will be a part of my therapy.
“It’s me, not you” is the famous line men and women use to get rid of a person they don’t want to date, and sometimes it is true. When you are a woman approaching her mid-thirties and single, most people will tell you, it’s you. In today’s society, being single, even if you’re happy and content, it’s viewed as a failure. At times, it’s self-imposed, which honestly is enough, but it doesn’t stop there. People have to chime in with:
“What’s your dating life like?”
“Have you tried to do xxxx?” (as if I haven’t tried everything)
“Maybe you should lower your standards” (this one always cracks me up if you personally know me)
Feeling like a failure really isn’t in my DNA, so I feel some way about the subject. Dating is a two-person sport, yet, oftentimes women are made to feel like it’s their fault from friends and family when we already have enough internal turmoil happening against our will.
“Is something wrong with me?”
“Am I unlovable?”
“Maybe if I do XXX, he/she will like me.”
But the story gets interesting for me.
So about three years ago, I realized that statement was true for me. Not necessarily, because I needed someone to tell me that, because I had to come to that conclusion. I was the cause of my own singleness. I consistently picked unhealthy “relationships” and men. I had a type. The unavailable type. I was always dating. I felt liked and beautiful, but it was like I couldn’t find someone to commit to me if my life depended on it, and at times, it felt like my life depended on it, and it still didn’t matter.
Now, I didn’t go to therapy for my singleness, I went for many different reasons, but the baggage that I unpacked allowed me to resolve parts of my life that I didn’t even know were affecting my dating life. For example, I had unresolved thoughts and opinions about my Father and my Brother, who are wonderful men in life, but I harbored unhealthy feelings about them that I needed to work through. Sometimes, we think we know ourselves until we explain it to someone else.
I am not sure I am a person who will need consistent therapy throughout my lifetime, and some people do based on experiences and traumas in their life. But I encourage therapy for everyone at some point, because if you haven’t been, there is an unearthed trauma that you probably need to handle.
I learned so much about myself in therapy, including how I felt about men. For starters, grace and forgiveness are not easily given when hurt or burned by someone. I have a very soft and fun exterior, but it’s more of a facade for a hard shell that is hard to penetrate. Who knew? The most significant aha moment was when I realized that I was seeking emotionally unavailable men because I, too, was emotionally unavailable. I know it’s shocking. And if you asked me, I was dying to be in any relationship. When I had this epiphany, the real change started to happen.
Fast forward 3 years, which included a pandemic where I was on lockdown alone. This time allowed me to work through so many thoughts and feelings that I was prime to invest in my dating life, and I got a matchmaker. I felt renewed, in touch with my strengths and weaknesses, and I knew I was ready to give my 110%. I showed up to dates fully present, cute, and open to whatever might happen.
My matchmaker was honest and candid throughout the process, and she helped me meet 5 men in Austin and 1 from Houston, who I never would’ve met otherwise. We had excellent dates, and I went on several dates with a few, but, ultimately, we wanted different things in life. I walked through the matching process so fulfilled and as the matchmaking process ended, I 100 % knew it was not me. The process allowed me to recognize that I am whole with or without a relationship.
The best advice someone gave me is that the things you struggle with in your singleness are the same things you would struggle with in partnership or marriage. Wholeness is not slotted for any group of people despite what the messages in the world often tell us. There is no perfect marriage, kids, or family. Perfection can not be the goal because it is not attainable. So whether you are thinking about singleness or you are thinking about the single people in your life, we all can relate to that missing piece in our lives, and if someone is single, it might not be about what they are or are not doing.
So here is the thing to walk away with:
We all make choices, and sometimes we make choices that we regret, and some that completely change the trajectory of our lives. The conscious and subconscious decisions play a role in our life, but there are things that happen that have nothing to do with choices. Someone can get in a car accident because of a deliberate action in their life, but there are equally as many people who have experienced car accidents based on no action of their own. If we were in control of all life’s results, wouldn’t we all have what we want? So as you deal with people who don’t have something that you do have, and you have convinced yourself its fate, or you willed it to be, remember there’s always something in your life that you have no control over, and the best place to be is to learn to appreciate the life you do have.
It’s not me, it’s not them, this is life.